• Nov 2, 2012
For the most part, our transportation infrastructure has been designed to account for large vehicles on the road. Lanes are wide enough, onramps are long enough and, perhaps most importantly, bridges are high enough to allow passage underneath.

But, at only 11-feet, 8-inches high, a rail bridge in Durham, North Carolina has been rammed into by so many trucks that the railroad company had to specifically install a crash beam made out of reinforced steel simply to stop the tracks from being damaged so much. And the crash beam has already had to be replaced.

The bridge decapitates so many trucks, in fact, that an entire website has been dedicated to it, complete with videos, t-shirts and an interesting history of the bridge.

According to 11foot8 Videos, a site run by Jürgen Henn, a truck is visibly damaged by the low-clearance bridge about once a month. The bridge is over 100 years old, meaning that it was built at a time when there were no requirements for minimum clearance because there were no large trucks driving underneath.

Even though there are numerous warning lights and signs, trucks still slam into the bridge an incredible amount due to inexperienced drivers in rental trucks or professionals simply being distracted.

It appears that the problem won't be going away anytime soon, either, as both raising the bridge and lowering the road are out of the question, according to the site, due to the scale of the project and the amount that it would cost.

The crash bar has gone a long ways in preventing damage to the railroad tracks, but the damage to the trucks can be pretty bad. Unfortuantely for the drivers, most insurance plans involving trucks specifically exclude overhead damage from coverage.

The video above shows just the most recent crash. Head over to 11foot8.com or check out this YouTube channel for even more.


NOW CHECK OUT



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 151 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      The writer is correct in noting that most accidents of this sort are caused by people renting trucks tt have no idea how high the truck is, or by professional truck drivers that got distraced. Even though, the person renting the truck should always remind the renter how high the truck is, and as far as a proessional driver is concerned, an accident like this is unacceptable. I spent 30 years in the trucking business and saw this type of accident a couple of times, drivers cannot afford to be distracted, it is the driver`s responsiblity to be alert for any of these kinds of bridges or tunnels that have a smaller than usual clearance.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Our federal government has enough money to build roads in Afghanistan, but not enough to lower this street in Durham? WTF?
        • 2 Years Ago
        It's not just a matter of money, on the 11foot8.com's site they state in the FAQ (http://11foot8.com/faq.html) that the sewer line (which is about as old as the bridge itself) is only a few feet below the road making it impossible to lower the road. And raising the road would put a very busy railroad out of commission for MONTHS because of the gradual grading needing to be put in place for a train. They've done what they can to warn the drivers, it's up to the drivers to know if they're too tall. Plenty of other vehicles turn off down the side streets before hitting the bridge.
      • 2 Years Ago
      idiot
      fa1thful1
      • 2 Years Ago
      Talk about the cost of overhead...
      inharmonydean
      • 2 Years Ago
      WOW is he stupid!!!
      Kathleen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Someone just got fired.
      lawings4
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is 5 years old.WOW
      Michael Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is incredible - you mean after ALL THESE YEARS and ALL THESE CRASHES they can't figure out the most OBVIOUS solution? EVERY TRUCK HAS TO STOP before going under the bridge and the truck may NOT continue if it doesn't pass a test rod that is flexible. I mean this is SO SIMPLE and SO OBVIOUS - why has it not been implemented. Some tell me PLEASE - e mail me @ bigclaim@aol.com M.S.
        yak5750
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Smith
        people need to read road signs. with a test rod, they might just ignore or avoid it. also what happens if the rod is wrecked. could try tying in the current sensor to crossing gates, but people go around them. maybe permanently revoke driver's license (of course the person could go out of state to get a license) and a $100,000 fine.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Michael Smith
        I agree, there is no excuse for not solving this problem after all these years. There a less expensive solutions other than raising the bridge or lowering the road. Hell we use laser beams to warn us of hundreds of things. They could easily set up a laser to scan all vehicles approaching the bridge and set off an alarm before the truck gets to the bridge. The City Officials are lazy and don't care because the city doesn't have to pay for the damage to the trucks.
      Michael Smith
      • 2 Years Ago
      I watchd the video - another truck driver OUT OF A JOB. Oh well, here's always CABS!
      spdy65
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice going dumb ass. Enjoy the un-employment line.
      Dales Best 4
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mabe just dig the road a little deeper and put a pump in for collected water.
        yak5750
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dales Best 4
        to lower the street or raise the bridge would cost many $ millions thats why it isn't done.
      adamantthe1st21
      • 2 Years Ago
      He was rushing to vote early for Obama.
    • Load More Comments